Under a starry sky, the breeze softly whispering in the branches of the trees, I sit quietly basking in the warm glow of a small campfire.   The sweet smell of Cedar smoke gently rises from the flames as I listen to the distant voices of others camping nearby.   The tranquil evening air is fresh, the muted songs of crickets make an intoxicating lullaby accented by the call of a far away owl.   Off to my right someone strums melodious tones from a guitar as merry voices join in harmony.   I half close my eyes, and allow the dancing flames to charm me with their hypnotic spell.   I can't help but think, this must be how God intended us to savor the night.

I grew up camping.   My family used to go camping nearly every other weekend during the summer months.   Now that I've become an adult, I still enjoy camping.   Things have changed in my camping style though.   When I first started camping on my own, I set out with a small 2 person tent and a 1 burner stove.   I've upgraded my camping equipment over the years.   Now I head off to the great outdoors with a 25-foot camping trailer complete with a 3 burner stove, oven, microwave oven, central ducted heat and air conditioning, hot & cold running water, self contained shower and flush toilet.

I've raised my daughter to have a love of camping as well.   When she was little more than 3-months old, she went camping for the first time.   I've taken her nearly every summer since and she always looked forward to our trips.


Besides being cheaper than staying in Motels, camping offers a peace and tranquility not found in our hectic lives.   The people you meet while camping are friendly and share the passion of the great outdoor.   Whether you sleep in sleeping bags in a tent or on a comfortable mattress in an RV, the fresh air always seems to make for more restful sleep.   Or perhaps the silent surroundings play a more important role.

Often, campgrounds will offer simple family entertainment on the premises.   Many have swimming pools and game rooms for the kids.   Often, they will have planned activities on the weekends also that will teach the kids (and adults) about nature in an entertaining way.   Other campgrounds will have a community bonfire on Saturday nights complete with story telling, singing and games.   Still other campgrounds will have a good old fashioned barn dance on Friday or Saturday night with local musicians providing the music.   Heck, even if you don't dance, the music is good enough to sit back and listen to.

Camping with friends can add an extra dimension to your enjoyment.   With nightly potluck dinners at each others campsites, sharing the exploring of local tourist attractions or just plain relaxing around the campfire, it always seems more fun when you're with good company.   But even if you don't bring your friends along, fellow campers are friendly and many a new long term friendship has developed between campgound neighbors in a single weekend.

Let's not overlook the romantic aspect of camping.   For the couple that can get away from the kids for a weekend, spending a quiet couple of days away from the phone, shopping malls and chores to cuddle and walk hand in hand through the forest or along a gently rolling stream can have a magical effect.

If none of what I've said so far has convinced you, let me hit you with this parting thought on the subject.   Food cooked and eaten outdoors always tastes better!


There are several excellent campground directories published each year.   Most are available at your local book stores, camping supply stores and truck stops.   The two that I find most useful are Woodall's Campground Directory and the Trailer Life Directory.   Both of these directories are about 2-inches thick and list virtually every campground in the United States, Canada and Mexico.   Some of the campground chains such as KOA (Kampgrounds Of America) publish their own directories listing all of the campgrounds under their name.


There certainly are.   From your favorite search engine, enter the words "camping" or "RV" or "recreational vehicle".   Any of these should turn up a large assortment to choose from.   A good starting point however is the Trailer Life homepage at


I like to involve myself with some of my other hobbies while I'm camping.   Many of them lend themselves quite easily to the camping lifestyle.   At the very least, I'm away from interuptions and can get caught up on my reading.   But some of the other things I like to do while camping are ham radio, model railroading, photography, videography, hiking, bicycling and dancing.   Okay, I guess you have some questions about that list.   Let me tackle each topic in order.

Ham Radio
If you didn't already know it, I am a ham radio operator.   Often though, because of my hectic lifestyle at home, I don't get to spend much time pursuing my hobby.   When I am camping, I have plenty of time to devote to it.   One of my main interests in ham radio is the pursuit of "special event" stations.   Since most of them operate on the weekends and holidays, it works out quite well as that is when I am usually camping.   Since ham radio is mostly a listening activity for me, I can catch up on my reading while listening.   I must admit though, that is a "learned" ability, but oddly enough, one that most ham operators share.

Model Railroading
I'm sure this one got you thinking.   No, I don't take a model railroad layout with me when I go camping.   I use the free time to build structures (buildings) and rolling stock (rail cars).   I have a small fishing tackle box I carry with me that has all the tools and supplies I need to do this and an old cigar box with bottles of paint.   Somehow, sitting in the shade on a picnic table is more inspirational to me than sitting at a workbench when it comes to building these items.   Again, I can do this while listening to the ham radio.   And I'm still camping to boot!

What can I say.   Mother Nature provides us with an absolute photographers paradise.   And since most campgrounds are located in rural or semi-rural areas, there are an abundance of landscapes just begging to have their images captured.   And of course there are the wildlife and beautiful flowers also.   And yes, I can listen to ham radio while doing photography also.

As you might expect, the same things apply to videography as in photography.   Okay, you got me on this one.   Most of the time, I can't listen to ham radio while doing videography, but not all of the time.

Most campgrounds are located near hiking trails.   Those that aren't still offer hiking the local backroads.   Hiking to me offers a chance to get some exercise, commune with nature, be introspective and listen to ham radio.   No!   Really!   I have a couple small handheld radios that I take with me when I go hiking.   You never know when you might need to make a call for help, and a ham radio on the hip can be a real lifesaver.   You thought I was kidding!

Whether I'm riding the interior roads of the campground or the backroads of the area around the the campground, I really enjoy bicycling.   The exercise, fresh air and watching the scenery go by at an easy pace are just some of the enticements.   Of course, I listen to the ham radio while I'm riding also, and for all the same reasons that I carry one when I'm hiking.

Well, if you've been reading carefully and haven't skipped anything to get here, you probably know that I like to go dancing.   Yep, a rare quality in a male of the species.   And earlier on this page, I made a reference to some campgrounds holding dances.   If you've been following the links up to now, you may have noticed that I am also the webmaster for the Southern Maryland Country Western Dance Association's webpages.   As such, I've done a bit of research into the subject of campground dances.   The result is a section on the topic on the SMCWDA website that contains semi-reviews of the campground dances I've been to and a listing of the campgrounds that I know hold scheduled dances.   I find it really enjoyable to go to a dance at the campground and meet many of our camping neighbors.   Besides that, it gives me an opportunity to get a little extra dancing in and to sample some of the dances from other places.   Okay, I don't listen to the ham radio when I'm dancing.

If you are interested in learning more about dancing at campgrounds, allow me to point you directly to the appropriate spot on the SMCWDA webpage.   Of course, you will have to use your "BACK" button to get yourself back here.   So, click on this.

If you would like to discuss camping with me, send email to